Tag Archives: Nature

Have Succulents, Will Travel: Central California Coast

My husband and I took our first adults only trip right before New Years Eve to one of our favorite hotels, Apple Farm Inn, to have a few days of wine tasting and connecting with nature on the beautiful Central Californian coast. If there’s anyone that can make the most out of 60 hours it’s us. We hit the ground running and visited a few wineries on our way up. I HIGHLY recommend Turley Wine Cellars if you’re into zinfandels.  It’s almost embarrassing to admit how much fun I had. I’ve done a lot of very fun and exciting things in my life but this was fun in a different way than I had ever experienced. It’s so important to remember the fact that before all that we have and we’ve made it was just him and me.

The next day we got our 10,000 steps in before noon and picked up food to go from the best little pizza spot then took our favorite drive on Highway 46 out to the coast. We parked the car at one of our favorite vistas in Cambria, popped open the back door of the car, ate pizza, drank really good red wine and watched the sun slowly set. There was an elderly couple that had set chairs out right at the water’s edge, other than them it was just the sound of cars driving by on Highway 1. We sat on the back of the car for a good hour. Our fingers and toes were freezing but we were as happy as could be. There’s a liveliness you don’t realize you have when you’re singular (childless) that is hard to not lose a bit of when you have a baby and are raising children. But I love how hard we’ve worked to keep things special and adventurous and this moment helped restore that liveliness, for sure. In part because I was loving what I was doing and in part because I knew I would be home the next day. Love here and love back home, we’re so very lucky. As the flow of cars behind us slowly died down with the setting sun and the smell of campfires started to linger, we could finally hear the waves from where we sat. Simultaneously we said, “that’s the first wave I heard.” Ahh, yes. We needed this.

Okayyy, now for the garden shop review. We hit up two spots while in San Luis Obispo: Growing Grounds Downtown and Grow in Cambria.

Growing Grounds Downtown Plant & Gift Shop

This place is tiny. Think an alleyway or walkway between homes but it packs a punch. The walls are lined with a lot of plants but what I love the most is their selection of already potted succulents and houseplants. I loooove all of the weathered terra cotta they use. We went at the end of December so they had an amazing selection of very healthy, blooming Christmas cacti. I was walking around with one in my hand (see photo below) until my husband gave me the side eye, like realllly another Christmas cactus?? I promised it was for my mom but I don’t think he believed me 🙂

Growing Grounds Downtown is an extension of Growing Grounds Farm which is a wholesale nursery in San Luis Obispo. But quite frankly the best part of Growing Grounds Farm and Downtown Plant & Gift Shop is that they are a program of Transitions-Mental Health Association. The plant shop is non-profit and provides supportive work opportunities and training for the Association’s clients who wish to develop job skills and confidence while experiencing mental illness. The gift shop is located on 956 Chorro Street, right across the street from Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. It was a little busy in downtown on the day we went and in combination with the tight quarters, I didn’t get many photos but we will be back soon for sure.

Grow Nursery

This is a one-of-a-kind space. Located at 2024 Main Street in Cambria on a unique property with other locally owned shops. It’s hard to describe how cool and funky this place is so hopefully the photos below will do it justice. When you enter off of Main Street in order to get to Grow Nursery you have to pass through the Garden Shed, a garden merchandise shop with everything from unique pottery to books to hand tools to statuary. Then there’s an open courtyard where all of the shops on the property meet. Once at the doorway of Grow there’s a series of cool signs touting rare and unusual succulents. If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while you’ll recognize me taking a pic or two under these signs every time I visit. 

Inside the shop there’s a great selection of interior decor, books, airplants and one of a kind knick knacks. Out in the back they have all of their plants displayed amongst artsy junk. I have access to some of the best nurseries around so it’s almost unfair to compare the selection I’m used to at California Nursery Specialties but they do have a really nice selection of plants. I think their airplant selection is the best that I have access to other than online. My takeaway is that I would come here to purchase one or two plants to pot on their own as opposed to leaving with a palette to do a big project in your garden. All in all, it’s just a fun shopping/browsing experience at this property. 

Any places is Central California that you love? Go to Instagram and leave your suggestions it in the comments.

xo, rootedinmoss


Same Pot, Different Year

Third annual red, white and blue pot! Check out the last two year’s projects here and here.

Memories of life a year ago around the Fourth was planning and having my baby shower, the on-set of swollen feet around 28 weeks, traveling almost every weekend and a lot of pilates. After being pregnant for a whole nine (actually ten) months it’s crazy/a little sad to actually see her at nine months old. When you think of time passing its usually illustrated in your mind as something clear, like air or wind but when you see your baby in front of you on earth the same amount of time it took to grow her it’s a unique moment in time right before your eyes. As we journey along this first year with the baby it’s been fun for me to think back to life exactly one year ago.

If you love your garden like we do, there’s always a way to find it mimicking your life. Another example of time passing and memories of last year. ↓

On the right is last year’s red, white and blue project. We get a lot of direct sun over the summer so any trace of blue or white has turned green by the relentless sun. With the exception of the sempervivums which has retained some of their red/maroon color. Just in case you need a reminder, this is what the pot on the right looked like just twelve months ago ↓If the pot itself on the left looks familiar, it’s from last year’s baby announcement. ↓ Same pot, different year. Those pink plants have since been removed and planted into the ground in our garden. All sorts of nostalgia over here!

Baby Leighton update: she is crawling, standing, scaling furniture. She yells ma ma mostly when I leave the room and she whispers da da when she’s crawling all over him. She loves to high five and eat all her veggies. Our plans for the Fourth are starting tonight when we do some nighttime gardening, after the baby goes down, to refresh all of our plants in the ground with more pumice. Then on the Fourth we’re going to a pick-your-own farm with family and relaxing the rest of the day! Happy Independence Day!

xoxo, rootedinmoss

Faraway Hills

I often get asked how I stay in shape or how I have so much energy. My husband calls it Crazy Mom Energy, thanks babe. So I thought I’d share a little bit about my eating habits, workout routine and most importantly how I keep a positive mentality.

Eating: This is a very “to each their own” topic. I don’t have any food allergies and I don’t follow any particular diet. I do make all (most) of our meals at home. I don’t count calories or macros. I eat real food. I like to make meals that are comprised of the least amount of ingredients possible per dish. Think, brussels sprouts (one ingredient), burrito (who knows what’s going into that). We do eat carbs like brown rice or white rice and whole wheat tortillas because I am not in the business of deprivation or starvation. I cook the majority of our meals to be about 80% plant based. Lately, I have been testing out non-dairy options like almond milk yogurt (I love Kite Hill) and grain-free options like making my own grain-free granola and it has done wonders for my digestive system. There are so many amazing real food companies out there now that have great chips and snacks made with very few and REAL FOOD ingredients. Also, I have pretty much cut sweets like cakes, cookies and pastries out of my diet. I absolutely do not refuse myself a treat if I’m offered one but I will tell you the honest truth, I don’t miss it. When you wake up full of energy you will thank yourself for that self-control. Which brings me to my next topic…

Exercise: There is no shortcut. Period. You have to get all of the excuses out of your system. I’ll be missing out on so much while I’m at the gym… It takes 20 mins to get there and 20 mins to get home and I have to be there for an hour and then shower!?!… I don’t want to mess up my hair…Ok, done? Your best self is waiting on the other side of those excuses. Now I won’t say that it’s so easy for me but I truly do enjoy exercising because I’ve been on the other side of those excuses for years.

They say it takes a village to raise a baby but it also takes a village to raise up and encourage a new mama. I am so grateful to my sister, my husband’s mom and brother-in-law who will drive out of their way to push Leighton around in the stroller for 40 minutes while I’m at my Pilates class. Most importantly, to my husband and my mom. If I get the idea in my head that I want to be active they either join in or work it out to help me make it happen. Having a supportive spouse is key. Investing in each other’s health is the best investment you can make for your children.

I used to hate schedules and group exercise. Since having a baby, I have tried to let go of self-manifested mental barriers. Now, I like schedules and group exercise- trust me those weren’t easy for me to give in to. I do Pilates MegaFormer classes three times a week at Pilates Plus Porter Ranch. It’s the absolute best full body workout. According to my Apple Watch, I typically burn about 350 active calories in 40 minutes. I don’t really know what that means in the scheme of things because I don’t count calories but I use that as sort of a model for my workouts and when I’m around 350 active calories I know I’m on track. Once or twice a week, I walk on the treadmill for about 30 minutes followed by high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is perfect for mamas with small babies because you can hit your cardiovascular goals as well as strength goals in a short period of time while baby is napping. I usually spend no longer than 20 minutes on HIIT with no breaks because I know my nap clock is running. Google HIIT for inspo, or you can always message me for specific moves I like.

Postpartum, as well as during my pregnancy, when I thought laying around sounded way better than being active I would weigh my options and tell myself, “You’re better for it.” I totally may have ripped that off from Nike but it’s true! You are BETTER FOR IT. You will never leave a workout thinking that you would have been better off organizing your spice cabinet. Like I said, my husband always remarks about my “mom energy”, well isn’t that an oxymoron? He is right though. Being forced to push myself through to seek out energy that just wouldn’t be there otherwise has caused me to be in a better place physically and mentally than before I had the baby. Which brings me to my next topic…

Positive Mentality: I have a six month old. I work five days a week, three in my office in Santa Monica and two from home. I have a give-or-take hour commute on both ends of my day. Truthfully, driving in traffic is more exhausting than taking care of a teething baby. But I use that time to catch up with friends and family on the phone, jot down blog and project ideas and drink my coffee! It was my “me time” even before I had the baby. You have to look at each part of your day as a way to get closer to your happiness and health goals.

We recently baptized Leighton (pics coming this week!) and before the baptism my husband and I had some lovely meetings with Father David at our parish. The conversations didn’t set out to be about any particular topic but they flowed so beautifully as though he knew exactly what our hearts needed to hear. While Father was sharing a story about a friend of his, he said a quote that has stuck with me ever since our last meeting that I wanted to share. He said, “Faraway hills always seem green until you get up close and see they’re filled with weeds.” That may sound a bit pessimistic but it was actually what inspired me to write this post. It had me thinking about body image and social media. Instagram and Pinterest can be great sources of inspiration for workouts and health goals but it can also create a terrible spiral of body comparing and shaming. Even worse, body comparing to photos that may be edited, cropped and filtered to not represent a real body goal at all. I am a real person. I am a mom and a wife. I don’t have a professional photographer following me around every day or a personal trainer keeping me on my fitness goals. I wake up everyday with a goal to say “Yes I can” to as much as possible and lay my head down at night proud of what I did and letting go of what I didn’t and committed to always being a work in progress. If I can do it, so can you. 🙂

On the days I’m not participating in group or gym exercise I love to be outdoors getting in my 10,000 steps and taking in nature. Last weekend, we took the baby to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve to check out the wildflower bloom occurring in the desert right now. We had rain the night before. As is typical with Southern California: after the rain, comes the wind. There were sustained 40 mph winds with 50+ mph gusts. Needless to say, the poppies closed up protecting themselves from the wind and cold- gotta love nature. But nonetheless, we had a nice day walking around.

Be kind to yourself and your journey.

xo, rootedinmoss

Window Watching

In Charleston, South Carolina, the quaint streets of South of Broad are lined with picturesque antebellum homes, all possessing stories of the founding fathers and their families who lived there long ago. On the day we visited it was pouring rain with periods of thunderstorms but the absence of cars on the road gave us the opportunity to zig zag back and forth in the streets. I’ve never been to an American city with so much history in one concentrated area. Reading the descriptions on the homes of their former occupants including George Washington during his stay as the “Guest of the Citizens” and imagining the streets without any sign of modernity was really enchanting. My husband said, “we’re definitely doing this walk for Terry” which I thought was so cute. I hadn’t thought about it but my dad loved American history and architecture and I love that he was there with us that day through my husband’s eyes.

For a girl who loves a container garden, Charleston is a dream city. Walking through the streets I kept stopping to admire the window boxes, most of which were eye level, beautifully cascading onto the sidewalks. I was amazed at how lush these window boxes were considering the heat South Carolina experiences. I noticed that many of the window boxes had irrigation systems attached since a window box could easily dry out in a day. Very different watering requirements from a succulent container garden! Below are some of my favorite window boxes overflowing with ivy, bromeliads, ferns, geraniums, nettle and so much more. Due to the pouring rain, I didn’t take my DSLR camera with me so all of these photos were taken on my iPhone 6.

^^ My favorite!

Have you been to Charleston and fallen in love with the window boxes like me? I’d love to hear about your visit on Instagram. For those who have recently asked, I’m 29 weeks and one day in these photos.

xo, rootedinmoss 

Endless Desert

The thought of life passing by too quickly leaves me feeling uneasy. I’m always trying to slow down and listen to others more genuinely or enjoy more thoroughly. However, being pregnant can force your mind to think about milestones whether you’re trying to or not. Let me start by saying, that all pregnancies are unique and every woman has to find what works for her and her body. For me, I’ve found that pushing myself physically has helped me live each step of pregnancy rather than living inside a number (16 weeks, 6 months, third trimester…). What I mean is, by safely pushing myself to new physical limits whether its not passing up a 5 am workout, or trying something that’s outside my athletic comfort zone or by simply telling myself one…more…minute, has helped me connect with myself physically in the here and now as I slip further and further away from my former physical self. Pregnancy has taught me that there’s no stopping time, no matter how uneasy that may make me feel. But focusing on the “cans” instead of the “can’ts” has me focused on something other than the numbers and that’s something I like. Things may not go back to the way they were but what’s ahead is a new limit for me to push.

On my recent trip to Joshua Tree, I was on my usual hunt for an amazing sunset. This time was fun because my sister was with us and she got to see the behind-the-scenes madness, that is capturing a sunset out in the middle of the wilderness of a national park. We arrived about 90 minutes before sunset to a completely overcast sky but determined, nonetheless, to find the spot where I shot an awesome sunset almost exactly a year ago. Although there are many faces to the landscape of Joshua Tree National Park, it can also feel confusing and repetitious when you’re out there in the fading light. A few times we thought we were on the right path only to realize there was another mountain or hill blocking the horizon so we’d turn around, sprint back to the main road, laughing and screaming out into the expanse. With about 20 minutes to spare, it became evident the skies were going to open to an incredible sunset and that we were in the general area I wanted to be in. It was then a mad dash up a sandy hill dodging rocks and spiky bushes. All in all, our step-tracking apps logged each of us in around 2 miles and 10 floors in less than an hour (and six months pregnant for me!). The steps and sweat were more than worth it when the skies displayed three breathtaking phases to that evening’s sunset. I surely didn’t go into this trip thinking I’d be participating in a cardio and booty blast but I take pride in my determination to not put limits on what I allow to be possible for myself. Hey, I never knew I could make a human, so as I see it, the possibilities for myself are as limitless as the desert is endless.

A Dream For My Future

There’s something new blooming in our garden! I’m 24 weeks pregnant today with Baby Girl Moss! I had intended to write this post, um, maybe 8 or 9 weeks ago. I was thinking and brainstorming of all the ways I could tie this announcement into plants and nature, but I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and write the real story that I had inside.

If you’ve followed the blog for any period of time you know that a life changing moment for me was the sudden passing of my father, coincidentally, on the night of my first wedding anniversary. At that time, the thought of having a child and not having my father’s influence on it’s life was too difficult to imagine. I knew I may want children in the future but his passing was the perfect excuse to put it off for another day, another year. But as the old adage professes, time heals all wounds, I too began to heal. Fewer of my life’s decisions began with what I didn’t have but with what I could make for myself. Soon I began to think seriously about becoming a mom. Around our sixth wedding anniversary last year, also marking a decade of being together (10 years!?!) we decided to make 2016 the year of Baby Moss. In January, I had a series of dreams about my dad over three nights. I typically never remember what I dream about and I hadn’t had a dream about my dad in years. The dream reoccurring during these three January nights was the same dream I had shortly after his passing. Wherein I would pass him as he was seated out in public somewhere and exclaim to him, “Where have you been!? I have so much to tell you!!”, and as soon as I would hug him he would be gone.  After the third night of that dream I knew something was different, but I kept it to myself for a few more days out of the fear of sounding like I was losing it! Now I know that I was only a few weeks pregnant when I was having those dreams. In looking back, I see them as a transition that my mind was going through and needed to go through. He came back into my mind, after being gone for some time, to allow me to dream clearly for my future and I haven’t looked back since. It was the perfect proof for me that enjoying each of life’s chapters as they slowly unveil themselves can be a beautiful process for the progression of life.

In true rootedinmoss fashion, my husband and I hit the greenhouses in search of the perfect pink succulents. Below is the potting of the pink succulent pot and a fun little shoot we took to announce Baby Girl Moss.

Due October 2nd! Stay tuned for my upcoming garden-themed baby shower in July.

xo, rootedinmoss

Give Love Back

It should come as no surprise to those who have been following me for some time that I love love and my absolute favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day. I have heard there are people out there that think Valentine’s Day is a retail holiday (I actually think you can make that argument for any major holiday) or that it’s a day in which taking an inventory of love is forced upon us. Luckily, for me, I don’t know any of those people! 🙂 We love the excuse to celebrate love. As soon as February 1st arrives all I see is pink and red and we often eat heart-shaped food- it doesn’t hurt that my husband totally plays along for me.

All this talk about love definitely reminds me of the love I give and receive from my garden. My garden is a source of love in many ways. It gives love to me by always providing me with something new to appreciate. It produces a physical gift in the abundance of itself as way for me to give love to others. And it gives those recipients a way to share love back with me when they tell me how the plants I’ve given them have grown, multiplied, and have been given to others they love.

I feel so grateful that nature always gives me something new to see and love always gives me a new reason to write. In the spirit of my favorite holiday I’m partnering up with General Pumice Products for a giveaway to my readers and Instagram followers! We will be giving away a 15 lb. bag of pumice and succulent cuttings from my garden (see entry details at the end of this post or on Instagram.) Pumice is a volcanic rock made of hundreds of microscopic pores. When added to your favorite potting soil, there are many useful benefits for your garden. The tiny pores on the surface of the pumice act as microscopic reservoirs storing nutrient-rich water, vitamins and minerals. Pumice not only releases stored water quickly which brings oxygen to the root zone (very important for succulents!) but it also allows carbon dioxide to escape and enables air circulation. This process saves on water costs and improves water conservation by absorbing water quickly and slowly releasing it back into the soil when needed. Talk about giving love back to your plants! I have been adding General Pumice Products pumice to my garden (stay tuned for a post about my garden overhaul with pumice) and it has been so beneficial as Southern California experiences an increase in precipitation due to El Nino. I’m very excited to help you give love back to your garden too with one of my favorite products!

Valentine’s Day Projects with General Pumice ProductsGiveaway details:

  1. Must be following @rootedinmoss and @sexysucculents_(the account for General Pumice Products) on Instagram
  2. Must tag three friends on the photo announcing the giveaway
  3. One entry per Instagram account
  4. Must be a Continental U.S. resident (sorry no AK or HI entries)
  5. The prize for this giveaway is a 15 lb. bag of 1/8″ pumice and a variety of succulent cuttings from my garden. Both items will be shipped separately.

Check out generalpumiceproducts.com for more information about their products.